This second week mentoring kids in the CS workshop was hectic.  I arrived late because of train delays, the lab was filled with adults that needed to be more or less kicked out, none of the kids really looked at the new project handout I wrote and assembled, everyone is at different stages this week in their interest and skill level (vs last week when they seemed closely aligned in both) and two girls, sisters, have decided to do whatever they want and see what I think of that!  Now I see that communicating principles of CS is not the challenge so much as gaining credibility with the kids and establishing a focus and pace for the classwork.  So next week I’m going to worry less about agenda and more about focus/pace.  The project presented last week is moderately complex given the age range, so we’ll work on that again.  And I have some tricks to win the kids attention and credibility… at least temporarily.  I’m going to start off with a demo of the project on my computer.  Next, provide a Spanish version of the project handout to the kids who are stronger in Spanish than English, and finally, give the kids treats at the end of class.  It is the last class of summer camp after all, and I’m not opposed to a little bribery to facilitate a positive connection with programming. 🙂

The project we’re currently working on is posted on the Scratch Ed site here:

Intermediate Level Loops and Event Recognition